Training stages based on the need for strength
In this entry, a review of the training stages will be made based on the need for strength.
In this series of articles we deal with some of the most important concepts of strength training, collecting notes from the recently published book Strength, Speed and Physical and Sports Performance written by renowned researchers Juan José González Badillo and Juan Ribas Serna.
SUMMARY
- The duration of the stages depends mainly on the age of the subject at the time they start training.
- The development of training based on the need for strength through sporting life is proposed in four stages.
- The older the subject, the less time will be spent on training the first stage and part of the second.
- Therefore, the duration of each stage can be on average 1-2 years, but can be highly variable depending on the response of the subjects.
Taking into account the division of sports based on their strength needs, it is necessary to make a proposal on the evolution of training loads throughout the sporting life of each of these groups. Table 1 presents a scheme of this proposal.
1º | 2º | 3º | 4º | Max reps/sets | |
Group A Minimum / Maximum %1RM | 8(30-40) 30-40% / 8(18) 57% | 8(20) 55% / 6(12) 70% | 8(18) 57% / 4-5(7-8) 80-83% | 8(16) 60%/ 1-2(2-4) 90-93% | > 1-2 of the half of the possible |
Group B Minimum / Maximum %1RM | 8(30-40) 30-40% / 8(18) 57% | 8(20) 55% / 6(12) 70% | 8(18) 57% /4-5(7-8) 75-80% | 8(16) 60%/ 1-3(2-4) 85-90% | > 1-2 of the half of the possible |
Group C Minimum / Maximum %1RM | 8(30-40) 30-40% / 8(18) 57% | 8(25) 50% / 6(14) 65% | 8(18) 57% / 5(10) 75% | 8(16) 60%/ 2-3(4-6) 83-87% | <= half of the possible |
Group D Minimum / Maximum %1RM | 8(30-40) 30-40% / 8(18) 57% | 8(30) 40% / 6(16) 60% | 8(20) 55% / 4-5(12) 70% | 8(18) 57%/ 2-3(7-8) 80-83% | < half of the possible |
Group E Minimum / Maximum %1RM | 8(30-40) 30-40% / 8(18) 57% | 8(30) 40% / 6(16) 60% | 8(20) 55% / 4-5(14) 65% | 8(20) 55%/ 2-3(12) 70-75% | < half of the possible |
Tabla 1. Proposal for the degree of load to be used throughout sports life in groups of sports with different needs for force development.
The data that appears in the table would be applicable to the full squat exercise. Subsequently, some adaptations of these loads to other exercises will be made. The development of training based on the need for strength through sporting life is presented in four stages. The number of stages that is proposed is the one that has been considered sufficient so that the training characteristics of the different groups can be expressed and differentiated in a reasonable way.
Each stage does not necessarily correspond to a season or year of training. The application time of the training proposed for a stage may be greater than one year, which will be the most frequent. The duration of the stages depends fundamentally on the age of the subject at the time he begins to train.
The older the subject, the less time will be spent training the first stage and part of the second
The older the subject, the less time will be spent on training the first stage and part of the second. But there is a condition that must be met, and that is that you must go through all the stages, whatever the age of the subject when you start training.
However, regarding the time dedicated to training in one stage or with one of certain loads, it should be remembered that the best situation that can occur for the coach and the athlete is that they can spend a long time training with the same relative intensities, while the performance improvement is maintained with the only increase in absolute load.
Therefore, the duration of each stage can be on average 1-2 years, but can be highly variable depending on the response of the subjects. The load indicators proposed for each stage are the maximum at the end of each stage. This means that before carrying out the training proposed for the first stage, several training cycles with lower loads must be carried out.
It also means that when going from one stage to another, the maximum training proposed for the new stage is not done directly, but several cycles with intermediate loads between the maximum of the previous stage and the maximum of the stage in which one enters.
For each stage and group the words “minimum” and “maximum” appear. These two terms indicate the minimum and maximum load of the final training cycle of each stage or cycle of greatest load within the stage. Both loads are expressed as an effort character (CE) and as an approximate percentage of the RM that would correspond to that CE.
For example, the minimum load of the final cycle in the second stage of group A is expressed with a CE of 8(20) (do 8 repetitions while being able to do 20), and the corresponding percentage is 55%, and the maximum load of the cycle is 6(12) and a percentage of 70%. Regarding speed losses in the series, 10-15% is suggested for the minimum load and 15-20% for the maximum.
Naturally, if speed were measured, the references for all these indicators would be the speed of 55 and 70% of the RM, as indicators of relative intensity, and the loss of speed in the series. Then, a specific and common number of repetitions would not be programmed for all the subjects, and, therefore, the expression of the CE in terms of repetitions performed and possible or achievable repetitions would disappear.
If you train with an exercise for which the speed that would correspond to each percentage is not known, this can be roughly estimated if the RM speed is known. Exceptionally, the RM could be measured on occasion with a few subjects who perform the exercise well, to find this value in an approximate way. Once known, we know that the speed corresponding to each percentage will be in relation to the speed of the RM.
exercise of which the speed that would correspond to each percentage is not known, this can be estimated in an approximate way if the speed of the RM is known.
Comparing this speed with that of the exercises whose RM speeds we already know, it is possible to have a useful estimation to know the speed with each percentage and organize the training. Although the estimated speed for each percentage had a higher error than the rest of the exercises, as well as the loss of speed in the series, and these two issues are the most important.
Therefore, the utility of speed would be very high, and preferable to any other way of controlling the training load. We can see that in the fourth stage of all the groups a range of maximum percentages appears in bold. These are the approximate maximum intensity values that each of the groups should reach at the end of their sporting life.
It is probable that for many subjects these relative intensities were not necessary, especially in the squat exercise, which is the one analyzed in this table, but it is proposed as the maximum “admissible” percentage. It must be taken into account, however, that these percentages, as will be seen later, even if you train with them, do not apply to all sessions of a training cycle.
Finally, to the right of the table the maximum percentage of repetitions in the series that could be done in each of the groups is indicated. To do this, half of the possible repetitions in the series are taken as a reference, indicating whether more than half, half or less than half of the possible repetitions in the series are done at most.
This maximum percentage of repetitions per series would not be done from the beginning of the training of “sporting life, but would be advanced to the maximum proposed as the stages are covered. Again we have to indicate that if speed can be measured. These percentages will be determined by the loss of speed in the series, knowing that in the face of certain loss of speed, a specific percentage of the possible repetitions in the series is done.
It is important to comply with the fact that with groups D and E you should never perform even half of the possible repetitions in the series, with group C you could reach half and with groups A and B you can reach do 1-2 repetitions more than half of the possible.
Therefore, this simple proposal turns out to be very useful due to the influence it can have on the adjustment of the load. If we look at the table from left to right, it can be seen that the relative intensity and loss of speed in the series are increasing until the last stage in all groups.
And if you look at the table from top to bottom, the trend is for the relative intensity and the loss of speed in the series to decrease. This trend naturally indicates that the lower the need for force development, the lower the training demand or load. The greatest demand is manifested in the relative intensity and in the Effort Index (IE), which does not appear in the table.
In the first stage, the IE with the maximum load of the cycle is the same for all groups (10-11). Subsequently, the maximum value of the IE programmed with the maximum load of the cycles in groups A and B is approximately 17, although it can reach 20 with the minimum loads of the last stages, in c 15-16, in D 12 -13 and at E 11-12. As indicated, the loads included in this table are more precisely tailored to the squat exercise.
Training adaptations to consider between squats and bench presses
For push and pull exercises with the worst limbs, such as the bench press (PB), the following adaptations should be made:
- The possible repetitions with each percentage would be 2-3 more in PB than in the squat (S).
- However, for the same percentage and the same loss of speed, the repetitions performed in both exercises are practically the same.
- The loss of speed in the programmed series could be increased by 5-10% in PB with respect to the S.
- The relative intensity (actual percentage of the MR) could be 5-10% higher in PB than in S.
- For the same percentage and loss of speed, the IE of the S is on average 30% higher than in PB, since the speed of each percentage in S is higher.
- But if, as we have indicated, in the PB the loss of speed in the series increases by 5-10% with respect to the S, the average IE in PB will be, approximately, only 5%, less than that which results for S.
- The maximum loss of speed in the series that produces a positive effect in S can be between 20 and 25%, while in PB it can reach approximately 35%. These are maximum losses, so they would only apply to subjects with extensive experience and high strength needs.